CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

Strategic Culture as the Basis for Military Adaptive Capacity: Overcoming battlefield technological surprises

Jacob H. Miller, University of Pennsylvania

Division: Social Sciences

Dept/Program: Political Science

Document Type: Undergraduate Student Research

Mentor(s): Michael Horowitz

Date of this Version: 01 April 2014



The ability of a military to respond to environmental changes rather than rigidly adhere to previously defined concepts of operation is paramount to overcoming unforeseen battlefield technological challenges. A force with the greater capacity for learning and adaptation will possess significant advantages in overcoming unforeseen challenges. However, it is unclear as to what determines the flexibility or adaptive capacity of a military during military engagements. To address this issue, this study focuses on intra- war adaptation as a product of a military’s strategic culture in overcoming enemy technological surprises. The work demonstrates the symbiotic relationship between strategic culture and adaptability that ultimately determines how effectively a force will respond to unforeseen battlefield challenges. For this reason, strategic culture is indispensable in explaining why militaries may continue to act in ways that are incongruous with prevailing operational circumstances while others are adept at responding to Clausewitzian fog and friction.


Social and Behavioral Sciences

Suggested Citation

Miller, Jacob H., "Strategic Culture as the Basis for Military Adaptive Capacity: Overcoming battlefield technological surprises" 01 April 2014. CUREJ: College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal, University of Pennsylvania,

Date Posted: 21 May 2014




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